EarthSearch Communications Inc. is launching a GPS-based vehicle-tracking device that is says will make auto theft a thing of the past, says Government Technology magazine. Competitor OnStar plans to begin offering a similar device in 2009 GM vehicles. The National Insurance Crime Bureau says a vehicle is stolen in the U.S. every 26 seconds. “Not anymore,” said Kay Aladesuyi, president and CEO of EarthSearch. “The only way a car thief can steal a vehicle equipped with one of our devices is by towing it — and we have an alert for that, too. We don’t just find stolen vehicles; we provide the tool to stop the theft.” The cost of the new system was not mentioned.
Each time a vehicle owner exits and locks the automobile, the vehicle owner can use a cell phone to send a signal to the engine, disabling it. The engine cannot be engaged until a new message is sent by the owner of the vehicle or EarthSearch personnel. That stymies any would-be thief’s attempt to “hot wire” a vehicle’s engine. There are a number of car alarm manufacturers and vehicle-location device companies attempting to utilize GPS technology to curb car theft, including OnStar.